Tainted Water and Tote Bags Pushing Us Back To Plastic?

The ink has barely dried on my first book run and there has already been enough shocking environmental news to write a sequel. In the interim, I want to address some of the craziness that has ensued in recent headlines, sure to leave us more confused, conflicted, and fed up than ever.

The breaking news today is that the Environmental Working Group has found hexavalent chromium in most U.S. cities’ tap water. What’s that? Oh, just the probable carcinogen made famous by the film Erin Brockovich. Great news, right?

So, until the EPA sorts this out, are we meant to go scurrying back to our bottled water? We’ve heard that bottled water is not only an environmental nuisance, but subject to less stringent standards (by the FDA) than public tap water. So it’s highly possible that the hexavalent chromium is pretty much everywhere. From someone who drinks like a fish (water, that is), that is pretty scary.

My first question is whether my beloved Pur pitcher is filtering out most of this junk. According to their Web site, heavy metals like lead and mercury are filtered. There is no mention of chromium in particular, but I am hoping that very soon – especially if these filter companies have any PR sense – we’ll be hearing that chromium is filtered along with the other heavy metals.

News like this will surely create a huge marketing opportunity for the bottled water and tap water filter industries – let’s just hope the tap water filter folks get it right!

Meanwhile, we’re still reeling from the news that reusable tote bags may contain lead paint and E Coli. A scare tactic from the plastic and paper bag industries, or something to really be concerned about?

Well, as for the E. Coli, I can only recommend washing your tote bags with the rest of your laundry. That and making sure to not throw in an unwrapped raw, bloody chicken.

As for the lead paint, it seems we are in a constant battle with everything made in China, and there needs to be much stricter trade regulations to protect the American public. But as this article points out, there are plenty of companies selling safe, eco-friendly reusable bags. Invest in a few of those and there is no need to revert back to supremely wasteful plastic bags.

In the meantime, let’s keep on our government to start paying attention to these things! Visit Environmental Working Group and HealthyChild.org to learn more about how you can make a difference!

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